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Updated: March 28, 2012 17:28 IST

Air India unions threaten strike from April 2

PTI
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Air India unions decided to go ahead with the strike after they failed to secure any “firm proposal” from the debt-ridden carrier for clearing their dues at a meeting on Wednesday. File photo
PTI Air India unions decided to go ahead with the strike after they failed to secure any “firm proposal” from the debt-ridden carrier for clearing their dues at a meeting on Wednesday. File photo

Unable to bear the “agony” caused by continued non-payment of their dues, eight Air India unions on Wednesday sought immediate intervention by the Prime Minister to resolve the situation failing which they threatened to proceed on strike from April 2.

“We will no longer be able to bear this agony which has been thrust upon us for no fault of ours. Therefore, we reiterate that if the management continues to withhold our legitimate wages, we will not be able to discharge our duties from April 2. We appeal to you for your kind and urgent intervention to resolve the situation,” the unions said in a joint memorandum to Manmohan Singh.

The decision to go ahead with their proposed strike came after the unions failed to secure any “firm proposal” from the debt-ridden national carrier for clearing their dues at a meeting with the management in Mumbai on Wednesday, third such engagement in a week.

The memorandum signed by leaders of eight of the 13 registered unions of the airline, said, “They have been constrained to implement ‘No pay no work’ policy from April 2, as today also the management failed to provide any firm proposal for payment of their outstanding wages.”

After their meeting last Thursday, the management had given a written commitment for a staggered payment of their dues beginning March 29 through May 25 and most, barring the pilots who demanded complete payment before April 1, were agreeable to it.

While seeking the Prime Minister’s intervention, the memorandum said, “As you are aware, a majority of AI employees have expressed their inability to work on/from April 2 due to non-payment of their legitimate wages for several months. A significant number of employees come from humble backgrounds and modest means.

“While some have availed of education loans, others have financial commitments towards their families. Due to non-payment of our wages for an extended time period, we are unable meet their financial responsibilities,” the union leaders said.

The memo has been signed by representatives of the Indian Pilots Guild, Air India Officers Association, Air India Engineers Association, Air India Employees Union, Air India Cabin Crew Association, Air India Aircraft Engineers Association, All-India Service Engineers Association, and Air Corporation Employees Union.

Apart from the woes of Air India employees imagine the uncertainty in the minds of thousands of passengers. How can any passenger book his ticket on Air India without worrying about the schedule and more importantly air safety in the wake of such a depressing state of affairs. How can the employees and the pilots put their minds wholly on the job when their legitimate dues are held up? Let the powers that be wake up to this reality and arrange for funds to pay the dues immediately and restore the confidence of the public in the national carrier which one hopes does not go the way of Kingfisher. Mere pronouncements of the minister regarding the health of the carrier will not do. It is like a doctor assuring the terminally ill patient that there is still some hope. Air India should set an example in efficient running of the airline to the other private airlines. There are still thousands of loyal patrons of Air India who trust the national carrier more than they would the private ones.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 06:12 IST

Can anyone answer why this state of affairs in this AIRLINES. What suddenly happened for the last 4/5 years. The situation was never worse as it is today. This airline never had taken monetary help from the Govt. before. So why this sudden depressed situation. Can any one answer?

from:  Pannertuli
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 18:21 IST

Hon.'ble Minister Ajit Singh, Pl. resolve this issue immediately by meeting the legitimate demands of the employees. Do not inconvenience the travelling public like us since it is not possible to get seats in international flights at short notice. Otherwise, pl. arrange to book the international passengers in other partner airlines so that we reach the destinations on time and keep up our appointments.

from:  Murali Raghavan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 02:37 IST

The title "Air India unions threaten strike" suggests that the unions are somehow to blame for this. AI workers just want to be paid what they are owed. They can't go on working for free.

from:  Nigel Miles
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 01:41 IST

They,the unions have given a written commitment for staggered payment . Is this not illegal and some form of slavery?. What are the rights of the employee under the constitution. Why the Prime Minister is mum on this issue. How long they have not been paid. Why not publish all the reasons for the above. The Hindu paper need not be afraid to publish the reasons. By not publishing a good article, the paper is supporting an immoral act by Air India. It is about time the Hindu paper changes it's reporting news.

from:  daisydoe
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 18:27 IST
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